MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you are looking for food, work, or other assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, resources are available.
ALABAMA CORONAVIRUS DATA
HOW TO GET TESTED/HEALTH INFO
ADPH has a dashboard with information about the number of cases, COVID-19 related deaths, and test sites in each county. The dashboard also includes case demographics and characteristics, along with the number of hospitalizations due to coronavirus.
ADPH has created a new testing hotline to provide information about available testing sites and hours of operation. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them. The number is 888-264-2256.
ADPH has also created a separate hotline for questions about COVID-19. The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The COVID-19 Tracker tool allows viewers to scroll through interactive maps and videos. Numbers are updated and new content is added daily.
A partnership between Walmart and Quest Diagnostics has made testing sites available to anyone who may be exhibiting symptoms as well as health care workers and first responders. All appointments will be drive-thru and in the Walmart parking lots and will be guided by Walmart pharmacist volunteers and Quest employees.
NATIONAL COVID-19 TRACKER
TRACK YOUR STIMULUS CHECK
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched the “Get My Payment” tool for citizens to track their COVID-19 relief payment. The tool will guide citizens through a process where they can submit their personal bank account information.
STATE OF ALABAMA
The State of Alabama has launched the website altogetheralabama.org - an online resource that will serve as a hub of information for the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
The State also launched a separate website that provides real-time answers to questions about everything from the COVID-19, a symptom checker developed by UAB, and information on testing site locations.
ADPH has released guidelines to help people adjust to the amended safer at home order:
- Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Act which gives people a bump in the amount of SNAP benefits they can receive. To apply for SNAP benefits you can go online to myalabama.gov.
- The Montgomery Area Food Bank has a way for residents to easily find food pantries and assistance. Residents can go to this website, put in their zip code, and find the nearest food pantry locations. Information changes daily so be sure to call the pantry BEFORE showing up.
- The City of Montgomery has also established a food access hub offering an interactive map that lists providers offering free meals to students and others in need.
- Little Free pantry in Opelika is also providing non-perishable food items and hygiene products during the outbreak. The pantry is open 24/7 and everything is free.
FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS
The Alabama Department of Human Resources announced it has been approved by the federal government to issue Pandemic EBT benefits to eligible students in Alabama. An estimated 407,395 Alabama school children will have access to meals that normally would have been provided at school.
Homework Alabama is offering extended hours for those seeking tutoring assistance. The online program offers free tutoring and academic resources. You can get help from a live tutor in math, science, English, writing, or social studies. You can access Homework Alabama at http://homeworkalabama.org/.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
WSFA 12 News has a tool to help you find businesses that are open during the coronavirus outbreak. Visit www.wsfa.com/shoplocal to browse businesses and add yours to the list.
To continue supporting local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery leaders have created a one-stop support hub. The Recover Together Small Business Hub is a free clearinghouse service that will help identify and prioritize small business requests, connecting those businesses to the resources they need.
According to the CDC, FDA, and USDA, there have been no reports at this time that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging. For more information, visit this link.
ELECTRIC BILL ASSISTANCE
- Alabama Power has not disconnected any customer for non-payment or charged late fees to any customer affected by COVID-19. The company says it will not be disconnecting service for non-payment until the crisis abates. If you need more information or if you have difficulty paying your bill call 1-800-245-2244. Alabama Power has a page dedicated to helping residential and business customers. Visit the page here.
- Central Alabama Electric Cooperative says customers having difficulty budgeting for their electric bill can contact Customer Service at 1-800-545-5735. CAEC has implemented new procedures, which will allow them to assist and support members with flexible payment options.
- Dixie Electric Cooperative has discontinued the disconnection of service and application of late charges. The suspension of service disconnections for non-payment will last at least through April 30. Customers with questions about their bill can contact their office at 1-888-349-4322 to speak with a service representative.
If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. The Alabama Department of Labor says if you are affected in the following way by COVID-19, you can seek unemployment benefits:
- Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or governmental agency
- Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns
- Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19
- Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19
Workers can file for benefits online or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is encouraged.
SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Small businesses across Alabama negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for assistance under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
SBA’s second Paycheck Protection Program opened April 27. For employers unfamiliar with which banks or credit unions are offering the program, the SBA provides a link to search for eligible PPP lenders by Zipcode.
The U.S. Treasury has also posted an FAQ list with answers to three dozen of the most-asked questions about the PPP loan program.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth has unveiled a new online resource designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop information hub during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. You can view the website at this link.
HELP FOR NONPROFITS
The Central Alabama Community Foundation and River Region United Way are partnering together to help non-profits provide needs to the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Applications for the relief fund will open on April 1 and grants will begin being awarded on April 15. The grants will be limited to $2,500 per organization.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
First Choice Women’s Medical Center is providing diapers and wipes. Right now, FCWMC is offering one “freebie” set of diapers and wipes, and after that, people just need to participate in an online course to continue earning more. They will be provided through a curbside pickup service at the FCWMC. Anyone with questions is asked to call 334-260-8010.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY INFORMATION
Montgomery has a text alert system to provide the latest information on the coronavirus. To register, text MGMSAFE to 888-777. You can also visit mgmready.com. This is for anyone living in Montgomery, Montgomery County, or Pike Road.